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"I am not very fond of all things organised... Disneyland…"
I am not very fond of all things organised... Disneyland is my worst nightmare. RUST, the Europa park though was okay. The park is organised in countries. Each country has its rides, restaurants, shops etc. a bit kitsch but very uo to date, clean and fresh. The food was nice and not too expensive.
My favourite was a massive playpark in a pirates ship. No electricity just ropes, ladders, trampolines water canons, a little lake etc. And space for adults to sit in the shade and chill.
We went in summer last year, it was a hot day but there was lots of fountains etc. that we could walk through to cool down. THere was queues at the big rides bur the small ones were ust as much fune if not more. If you have a small child and you need to wait with baby outside you can jump the queue when dad and the older ones come out. You can go for a ride yourselve straight after. Generally the bigger children can come with you again without having to queue. Expensive but worth it!Read moreLess
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"Really great, themes well done, great rides, lovely area of…"
Really great, themes well done, great rides, lovely area of Germany too.Read moreLess
"Europa-Park is completely bonkers. Split into European themed villages -…"
Europa-Park is completely bonkers. Split into European themed villages - Greece has water rides and Russia has rockets - it's still totally Germanic, so everything works and it's clean.
The selection of rides and shows is fantastic. Adrenaline junkies will adore 'Silver Star': a 73-metre high roller coaster with a centrifugal force of 4g. I have no idea how I ended up on it... but it seemed a good idea at the time - a 'well, if we've come all this way we might as well' sort of thing. The minute I was strapped in it suddenly seemed like a stupendously bad idea, but I was surrounded by loads of people who still seemed to think it would be FUN, so I kept schtum instead of screaming; "LET ME OUT".
As we started to climb I kept thinking, "Any minute now we'll get to the top". I kept thinking that about eight times - each time I was wrong. Then, finally, we were at the top - and suddenly I was hurtling down the highest drop I've ever experienced. I'd like to say that I remained resolutely calm throughout, but apparently all I did was shriek, "Oh my God". Repeatedly. To be honest, I still have flashbacks.
However, something happened that afternoon, because from the minute I was back on the ground I went from hating roller-coasters to absolutely getting them. I am now officially hooked.
Aside from frankly terrifying/life-changing rides, there are loads of other rides for all ages. The water based rides are particularly good - my son (six at the time) thought them brilliant... and also got the roller-coaster vibe too from this point. We also saw a great knights versus baddies 'equine adventure': beautiful horses but v. scary baddies... which resulted in a friend's child cowering in my arms. Oh, and a good ice skating show too, which nobody was scared by. Hoorah.
The themed hotels are equally bonkers. We stayed in a Medieval style (???) family room with a double bed and bunk beds that looked as though they were part of a castle wall. (Big hit with small boy.) Food was ok -not brilliant but lots of it, although not huge amount on the veg' front, so veggies should be prepared.
The great thing about this place is it is such a short flight from the UK, and then a really painless 10 minute'ish transfer straight to the site. On a good day can be inside the park within two hours of leaving the UK.
We'd definitely go again as it was a real giggle.Read moreLess
"Was initially sceptical of venturing to a German theme park,…"
Was initially sceptical of venturing to a German theme park, but we had a wonderful time with children aged 8,5 and 1 and the older children can't wait to go back. With different areas of the park themed around different countries there are loads of rides to suit all ages, including a particularly horrific rollercoaster which takes you up something like 70m before throwing you down. Designed by Mercedes, it's absolutely amazing and terrifying. The park has country- themed hotels (so Spanish, Italian etc) which are as cheesy as they sound, but again the children loved them, and they were comfortable enough. We were there in winter and it was pretty freezing, but there are shows you can nip into if you need to warm up and enough rides and activities to keep you occupied indoors and out for several days. They have a disney-ish parade and a European Mouse as a mascot, so high culture it ain't, but if you want a change from Disneyfication and like a theme park, I'd highly recommend it. We'll definitely be going back.Read moreLess